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Judicial Selection: Politics, Biases, and Constituency Demands

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Author Info

  • Thomas Stratmann

    (George Mason University)

  • Gared Garner

    (University of Virginia)

Abstract

The determinants of recent U.S. district court judges and appellate court judges selection have been subject of much debate, but little systematic evidence has been presented to substantiate claims regarding discrimination against particular groups of judicial nominees, nor regarding the length of the appointment process. We study both the length of the nominations process, and the likelihood of confirmation and emphasize the role of Senatorial seniority and agenda control in the confirmations process. We find that Senators with agenda control have a positive effect on the speed and likelihood of confirmation and that nominees from states with comparatively senior Senators receive expedited treatment relative to other nominees. Although politics matter in the confirmation process, Senators are responsive to perceived “shortage” of judges, since they fill seats faster when a relatively large number of court seats are vacant. Nominees with higher personal qualifications are also more likely to experience success in confirmations. We found no evidence of gender or race discrimination on the part of the Senate.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/le/papers/0302/0302001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0302001.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 07 Feb 2003
Date of revision: 06 Mar 2003
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0302001

Note: Type of Document - acrobat pdf; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 31 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: judicial selection; discrimination;

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